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Belgian Malinois > Working line vs showline (30 replies)

by BigSwill on 04 February 2010 - 18:02

Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 01:46 am
Malinoid, those are some great points. One of my males falls into one of the categories you described above. He's got great prey and hunt drive, but lacks the nerve to tangle with a decoy. But what I see in him otherwise lead me to start training him to track. He's got the best obedience of any dog I have, and he's showing good potential in tracking. Time will tell. My wife has mentioned doing competiton OB with him, which would be great for both of them. My point is that eventhough he's not what I personally typically prefer in my dogs, there are areas that he can excel at. Down the road if I decide to breed a litter just for SAR, he might be a good candidate if I can get the correct pairing. You mentioned something else I don't hear alot of-- breeding with a goal in mind. Too many people think they can breed 2 good dogs and get a top notch litter and often times it just isn't true. If you don't have a goal in mind with each breeding there is no way to have any notion at all about what you should get; the thought process stops at "he's a great dog and she's a great dog, therefore they will produce great dogs". If you breed for a certain objective, you are way more apt to get more of what you're looking for.

Storms, don't get me wrong. If a dog performs its job to your satisfaction, there is nothing wrong with that at all. When I say people should get a different breed what I'm referring to is when people want to "tone" down dogs for the show ring. I just think a little differently. I don't think alot of show breeders truly are trying to breed the working ablility out. But I don't think they understand enough about genetics to realize that in order to get a temperment suitable for the show ring in a mal, you more often than not breed out the drives and desires required for that dog to work. when you're breeding for working ability you're trying to amplify those traits.. Think of it like this: if you breed for work, if the dog ends up being pretty, it's a bonus. When you breed for show, if the dog can work it's a bonus. It's a matter of where your focus is.

by malndobe on 04 February 2010 - 20:02

Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 04:57 am
Excellent post John.  I think when people look at a breeder breeding for "bitework" they believe it's a one dimensional thing, just biting.  They don't realize there are so many components to it, and many of these components are the reason the Malinois can go out and do so many other things also. 
My focus in breeding is "bitework", defined as both the sports and street, yet my dogs are out there in almost every venue you can think of.  Why, because to breed for "bitework" means breeding for drive (all drives, not just prey drive), temperament, structure, health, intelligence, focus, ability to work with the handler, longevity, etc.  And these traits translate into dogs that can do SAR, herding, obedience, agility, flyball, etc in addition to Police, French/Mondio Ring, Schutzhund, personal protection, etc.  It doesn't mean it produces a dog that anyone anywhere can handle, but IMO a Belgian shouldn't be a dog that anyone anywhere can handle.  The worst thing that could happen to the breed IMO would be for it to become the next GSD, Dobe, Rott, etc that is being bred to be a dog that shows up in every pet home across the country. 
As for biting dogs and SAR, I know quite a few dogs who are trained/titled in protection sports who are also actively working as SAR dogs.  They are very capable of telling the difference between who to bite and who to find/save.  Doing one does not exclude the other.

by Storms Malis on 05 February 2010 - 14:02

Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 07:43 pm
I pretty much agree with what you guys are saying, I am stating a point the why am I frowned upon because I want a dog who can do many things. Somebody is saying "stay away from Mals and get a different breed", that is crazy. Why? Because I don't just do ring and schutzhund. wow. I dabble in it as a matter of fact I will be dabbling in ring pretty soon to, is it something I want to commit to doing all the time. No because I have so many different areas of interest I just simply can't commit to that one thing. I love the breed and I love to do all kind of stuff with them, because they are capable of it. I understand the different aspects of police work, schutzhund and ring and let me tell you I have a great respect for people who are committed to just that. And the dogs are amazing, amazing control, that gaurd of object stuff is some cool s**t, among other things. But it shouldn't mean that I cannot bor should not breed for other things to. Even the showline mals (well most anyway) is a breed not everyone can handle. I agree with you there to. Which is why I wish more people would focus on people who breed for only money and for the hell of it and sell to just anybody. A guy called me the other day said he has an exceptional Mal (he got from a glorified puppy mill) because it can do about a hundred tricks, and said "I am looking for a male to breed his girl to, do I know of any". See now it is those kind of people that throw me over the edge. We all know mals are trainable but because they are doesn't mean they are breed worthy. She is a year and a half old, I started off by telling him to wait until she was at least two, get her hips, eyes and elbow OFA'd (especially coming from a everything breeder, they breed about 6 or 7 different breeds), get some working or showing titles on her, meet some other mal people and kennels, make his own connections and mentors and  have them help him get into it. I told him that he should be in a position to be able to take any of his puppies back if the owner can't keep them and he should be able to put a health guarantee on his puppies.  I guess he at least asked how to do it right. Now whether or not he listens to me and takes my advise is another story. Probably not because when you start looking at commitment, time and money spend on breeding might turn him off and he will pup an ad in the paper looking for just any old male and breed because the male knows how to sit well.  Now that would be sad, about a year ago another guy phoned and said his dog was a good family protector and offered me his dog for stud. Wasn't even registered, and the dog was exceptionally ugly, who knows where he got it. Now it is those people we need to come together and stop. Not the showline or the working line people. Cause if we stopped people like that we would always have a good breed no matter what venue the dogs excelled in. How many GSD crosses and crap Shepherds are out there, that is mostly because people who really don't care about the breed and do it for the money and the heck of it are breeding the hell out of them. 101 dalmations, Lady and the tramp... ruined, not because of show breeders but because someone managed to get a hold of intact breeding stock and bred the snot out of them and make mega money doing it. Protect our wonderful Mal breed from those people and worry less about show breeders, and people like me who breed for workability, health, temperament, and versatility. Don't you think?

by Jon luc on 07 February 2010 - 16:02

Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 08:20 pm
Oh, a working dog has to be able to do the work it was bred for. The good
thing about Malinois is you don't see alot of poor confirmation. Their looks
and work go hand in hand.  JLP

by Storms Malis on 08 February 2010 - 17:02

Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 07:43 pm
I agree, the biggest difference between a showline mal and a working line mal is the ear set and level of drive/ intensity.

by malinoid on 09 February 2010 - 02:02

Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 05:56 pm
Again Storms, you missed the point. Malinois historically & typically have good conformation (are pleasing to the eye) because the work demands it (form follows function), not because they are bred to some subjective phenotypic standard. The biggest difference is in their heart & between their ears.

by Storms Malis on 09 February 2010 - 15:02

Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 07:43 pm
So your saying that my showline is dumb and has no heart, omg really. You don't know showlines than cause she is not lacking heart or brains. She would die trying to please me. As most Mals would. She does lack drive and some nerve I will certainly admitt that but she is smart and she does work. Whatever, you guys will never see a different point of view. I am not missing your point as I do stay open minded to others views because again I like both types so I do see where your coming from, but can you all for a minute see mine. I just think that there is nothing wrong with a mal doing many different jobs, that is my point none other. Some mals just need a little less intensity to do different jobs, big firggin deal. As long as there are breeders have working line mals there will always be working line mals for you guys to choose from. For me I want a dog that does it all. That is nothing more than loving the breed and having high expectaions for it. But whatever.   

by Jon luc on 09 February 2010 - 17:02

Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 08:20 pm
Storms I don't think you missed my point.  I love to see people enjoy this breed.
I'm not one of the guys though. Im an old fart. If I remember to feed my dogs
and horse take my viagra, its been a pretty good day. JLP

by malinoid on 09 February 2010 - 18:02

Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 05:56 pm

The very thing I love about the Malinois is it's utility and versatility, just like you. My point is, there is no need for a 'showline' Malinois, because the working-line can do it all - Ring, Police, IPO, Herding, SAR, Agility & even Conformation. Aside from all of that, there is a difference between what the dogs can be used for and which ones are worthy of breeding. In my own litter I have pups doing everything from Police work to being a family pet, and yes, doing conformation. I'm pround of all of them, but I also have my opinions as to which, if any, should be chosen to perpetuate the breed.

by Jon luc on 09 February 2010 - 20:02

Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 08:20 pm

Your passion can only help this breed, the Malinois it is like no other.
You sound very French Malinoid?   JLP

by LacyPSA on 10 February 2010 - 22:02

Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 09:37 pm
In my opinion if a pup from a litter of mals turns out to be a suitable family (normal family) pet, that breeding should never be made again.  I just walked in from squirrel hunting with my 10 year old bitch and she still has to be checked into decent range, and kept from digging coons out of brush piles.  She'll still take a fingernail if your not careful with the tug.  She handles as well as any dog out there but will not tolerate unfair corrections or civil aggression from any other animal that tries her.  She is my house pet, is extremely affectionate, and loves to be lavished with attention, but I would never leave her alone with a kid or any adult that I felt couldn't handle her.  She's a patrol wash with low end drives from a good to mediocre breeding.    I tend to think she's kinda easy on the eyes, even with the ghastly "ear set".

Standard of first formal Belgian Ring Trial held in Mechelen Belgium in 1908, 7 yrs after the first Schutzhund trial held in Germany, and about a decade after malinois was recognized as a distinct variety of the young BSD breed.
* Walk "off leash" near handler: 20pts
* Retrieve an object: 5pts
* Guard object without presence of owner: 5pts
* Jump over obstacles: 10pts
* Jump over a hole or canal: 10pts
* Defense of owner: 15pts
* Attacking helpers (decoys) pointed by owner: 10pts
* Saving an object out of a pool: 15pts

Heck, the belgians had a pretty big falling out over this a few decades back, but even the show folks stuck with ring.

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